Beer and Italian Sausage Fondue

ingredients

6 servings
 
Oregano and Fennel Seed Crostini
Eighteen ⅓-inch-thick baguette slices, cut diagonallybaguette18
½ cup extra-virgin olive oilextra-virgin olive oil½
3 cloves garlic, mincedgarlic clove3
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oreganofresh oregano2
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed using a mortar and pestle or place in a zip top bag and crush with a rolling pinfennel seeds2
Freshly ground black pepperfreshly ground black pepper1
Fondue
1 cup beer, such as a brown ale, pale ale or lager, at room temperature, plus extra, as neededlager beer1
1 tablespoon Dijon mustarddijon mustard1
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oilextra-virgin olive oil2
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removedsweet italian sausage1
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)onion(s), medium1
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed using a mortar and pestle or place in a zip top bag and crush with a rolling pinfennel seeds2
¼ teaspoon kosher saltkosher salt¼
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepperfreshly ground black pepper¼
3 tablespoons all-purpose flourall purpose flour3
2 cups packed coarsely grated extra-sharp white Cheddar (about 8 ounces)sharp white cheddar cheese2
2 cups packed coarsely grated fontina (about 8 ounces)fontina cheese2
½ cup finely grated Parmesanparmesan cheese½

instructions

 
Oregano and Fennel Seed Crostini
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange the baguette slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Mix the oil, garlic, oregano and fennel in a small bowl. Brush the oil mixture over the top of the baguette slices. Sprinkle lightly with pepper. Bake the baguette slices until lightly toasted but still slightly soft, 12 to 15 minutes.
Fondue
Mix together the beer and mustard in a small bowl. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add the sausage, onions, fennel, salt and pepper. Break the sausage into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon and cook until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the beer mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Gradually add the Cheddar, fontina and Parmesan, stirring constantly, until the cheese is melted and smooth. Keep warm over low heat. If the fondue becomes too thick, gradually stir in extra beer, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Serve the fondue with the crostini.
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